The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!
This month's DC challenge selected a common food item, patties, prompting me to think about the how and the why of successful patty creation. Basic components, held together with binders of egg or flour, shaped into a disc and pan-fried in fat - that's a patty. Ah, but the differences in ingredients, texture and crowd-pleasing flavor are infinite.
This should have been a simple matter, do-it-in-my-sleep easy, but I dithered around for days. Patties are so commonplace it was difficult to choose just one of the possible variations. So I didn't, instead I worked with several ideas. Entrees, appetizers and snacks - we nibbled on a lot of patties this month. Think mini-burgers, hash cakes, fish cakes, vegetable pancakes, veggie fritters... I enjoyed the Patty Challenge, but I'm through frying anything for a while.
Initially I grabbed whatever was available in the refrigerator and made Spicy Beef-Stuffed Pepper Rings. Tasty little sliders, pressed to fit inside red pepper rings were an instant hit, so much so I'll never bother to stuff a whole pepper again. Pan-frying and flipping put a lovely, crispy crust on each side of the meat patty; a great improvement over the usual soggy, steamed lump of meat typically found inside a stuffed pepper.
Freshly ground beef (thanks to the KitchenAid grinder attachment) combined with finely diced poblano and sweet red pepper bits, capers, garlic, Mexican oregano, cilantro, Spanish smoked paprika and a dash or two of chipotle tabasco for the basic slider mix. One large egg and a handful of toasted breadcrumbs worked well as binder. We'll enjoy this stuffed pepper ring presentation again and again.
What, no specific recipe? No photos? Nope, the opening photo presents my impromptu riff on stuffed peppers, but there are so many more variations to share.
Tuna and Rice Cakes won our vote for the Best Patty Recipe award, so delicious they deserve a post of their own. Coming soon, I promise, complete with recipe and a handful of photos. (now linked here)
Crab cakes and more crab cakes were delectable as appetizers.
Merguez lamb patties began as mini-meatloaf and kefta recipes.
Breakfast hash and chicken hash morphed successfully into scrumptious patties.
Consider this an invitation to play with your food, to improvise with whatever is in your refrigerator and the seasonings you enjoy to enhance the flavor. Just form a patty and fry it up into a crispy palate pleaser. Go for it.